Saturday, March 6, 2010
HEART ATTACK: NEW YORK THEATRE ENSEMBLE, NEW YORK, NY. 1.12.81. SOUNDBOARD RECORDING.
Hailing from Whitestone, Queens, the nucleus of Heart Attack was formed while the members were still all under the age of 18, ranging from 12 at the youngest and 17 and the oldest. Within the first several months of the band, they cut two humorous demos entitled “The Hitler Demo” and “Mojo Sessions”. These early recordings were teenage imitations of then current English punk bands such as the Clash and the Sex Pistols. After singer Jesse Malin and guitarist Jackie Flannagan stumbled upon a Bad Brains show at CBGB during the middle of 1981, they immediately decided to amend their own sound. They were reborn as a frenzied hardcore act that would serve to be a strong influence (like the Bad Brains had been to them) to future up and coming New York hardcore groups.
Heart Attack were responsible for the vinyl artifact of the New York hardcore scene. This three song 7” EP, “God Is Dead”, was a crucial document in the separation of New York independent music after the late 70s CBGB scene had faded. This record is probably the most sought after item to ever have come from the New York hardcore scene, topping out in an online auction at nearly a thousand dollars two years ago.
This live recording was captured near the dawn of the group. This is the earliest live recording I have ever seen in circulation of Heart Attack. It shows these guys as a band still in the process of trying to discover their own sound. It seems they have one foot immersed in the UK influenced melodic punk rock of the time and another in the rapidly developing style of New York hardcore. Two out of the three tracks from the debut "God Is Dead" 7" EP are performed live in this set along with other tracks that would eventually turn up on the first Heart Attack 12", "Keep Your Distance".
The source of this tape is a soundboard recording. The sound quality seems to suffer from some very minor generation loss. It seems likely that this is still a low generation copy of this tape as it came from a long time trader that prided himself on owning a considerable amount of live masters and low generation tapes. This is a very nice document considering when it was recorded during the band's existence.
This is the first of a few Heart Attack live recordings that I will make available on this archive.
1. The Last War
3. I Don't Want You Anymore
4. English Cunts